MONTREAL, QC. – ”I want to see P.K.”
The declaration was made by my nine year old daughter as we circled the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard last week hunting for a spot to park the car.
The complex was teeming with people.
One rink was open to the public for free skate. Baseball tryouts in one of the gyms. Hordes of people mobbing the food counters.
Weaving through these crowds, we arrived at our destination.
The first rink.
The players were just coming out on the ice as we approached the glass enclosed arena.
She ran, pushing people out of her way to get close to the glass so she could have a better look. She was immobile.
Why? She saw P.K.
She turned to me and said “Mom there he is, and he’s smiling.”
The previous day we had gone to Complexe Sportif Bell and much to our chagrin, there was no team practice. The players on the ice that day were our beloved captain Brian Gionta, Ryan White, Scott Gomez, Peter Budaj, and Yannick Weber. Carey Price was in a track suit taking shots on net while the others were doing their drills. At one point Gionta stopped skating and looked up to where we were and smiled. She squealed with delight.
Oh wait, that was me!
We stayed and waited near the garage exit in the parking lot and got autographs. The gracious players who stopped while we were waiting in the biting cold were, Hal Gill, (who parked his SUV and came out and spoke to all of us and took pictures) Andrei Kostistyn, Raphael Diaz, Scott Gomez and my warrior Josh Gorges.
But no P.K.
So there we were again.
Rink number one and her eyes were fixated on her favourite player.
“Do you think we can get his autograph
“If he stops, then yes we will” I told her.
I hope he stops.
Two hours later, practice ended and she wanted to go outside and wait. I told her that the players needed to change, talk to the reporters that were making their way down to the dressing room, and once all of that was done, they would leave.
She glanced at the media people with a look of disdain until she recognized one of them.
“Mom! Isn’t that Brian Wilde walking over there wearing sneakers?
“Yes it is, and he can wear sneakers, because the camera only films him from the waist up”
It was time. Sharpies and jerseys in tow, we had to brave the frigid wind and make our way to the designated waiting area in the parking lot and wait, and wait, and wait some more.
“I hope they hurry up”, she said exasperated. “I want my autograph.”
No players emerged.
Forty five minutes later she looked at me and said “Mom, it’s way too cold. I can’t be out here anymore. Can we leave?”
And so we left, but with a promise that I will bring her back so she can get P.K.’s autograph.
In the car, I turned to her and asked her what was the best thing about her day at Brossard.
“Seeing P.K.” she replied.
It’s been said that nothing is more pure than the love and adulation of a child.
More relevant still is when this adoration is directed towards their local hockey heroes.
It’s in the gleam of their eyes and their wide toothy smiles.
That’s my daughter when she talks about P.K. and the Habs.
Category: Fan Focus